India: Apple prices unexpectedly high

Apple growers in Kullu, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, are benefiting from high apple prices this season. Despite being peak harvesting season when competition is intense, the fruit is selling at unexpectedly high prices. Though the price has decreased marginally in the last couple of weeks, good quality apple is being sold for Rs 60-65/kg.

Generally the market collapses in September when hundreds of metric tonnes of apples hits markets every day, but the growers say that the market is still going strong. 

"A strong fruit market this season has cheered every apple grower. Everyone is making good money," Hira Lal Bhardwaj, an apple grower, said, adding that the upper grade apple was selling for more than Rs 55 per kg. "A grade fruit is fetching Rs 65/kg or more. It will be untrue if anybody says that he has incurred losses."

Over 90% of the fruit goes to the local fruit and vegetable markets. One more advantage for the fruit growers is that buyers are now visiting their orchards to buy whole lots on the spot and paying them in cash. 

Apple production is the main source of livelihood for the people of Kullu. However, the fruit from Shimla, which ripens earlier than Kullu, gets a better price.

(1 Indian Rupee=0.015USD)

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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